Monday Musings: Weathering The Storm

Happy Monday ladies. We had a very rainy Sunday which included a hail downpour like I haven’t seen in many years. The thunder rumbled, the wind whipped the rain into sheets and the occasional flash of lightning made it feel so cozy to be inside. It removed any feeling of being trapped inside, which was a welcome relief. While the storm raged, my husband made a huge pot of onion soup, I puttered and we listened to loud rock and roll.

Here’s what’s on my mind these days and some questions for you

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Several of you have thanked me for continuing to blog during this bizarre time and that you look forward to seeing me come into your email box. I think of the comment section of my blog as a community of like-minded, kind, intelligent women and love the conversations we have. Our world has shrunk in the blink of an eye so I think it’s more important than ever to connect with each other.

The world of blogging has changed dramatically and my content will change with it. You can get news anywhere and everywhere these days, so I want AWSL to be an uplifting place. What would you like us to see more of here? I could muse here every day but that would get pretty boring for you:)


My son built some raised planter boxes for us on Friday, so now all we need is dirt and plants. I bought a few veggies and herbs before we got locked down but they aren’t alive anymore thriving under my care:) My black thumb is epic so I expect my husband will be caring for our veggie garden once we get it up and running. More than ever, I want to have some veggies growing so we feel a tiny bit more self-sufficient. We get a lot of sun in our back yard so if my husband is able to get us water to it, we should be all set. Do you have veggie gardens and what do you grow?


A reader requested I include a picture of myself in each post so I’ve started taking a mirror selfie each day and will either share like I am here or do a roundup at the end of the week. The lighting in my office is not great but you will see what I’m wearing.Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing kimono over jeans and tee shirt

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This charmeuse kimono is ages old. It’s available in zillions (technical term) of colors and is the perfect size to wear over things. I tossed the belt years ago because I always wear it open. The turtleneck is so cuddly and soft and the comfy pull-on jeans are here.

I’m employing everything I can to keep my spirits lifted so these days I’m reaching for my mala beads and chakra necklace, more times than not. My perfume has been replaced with Lavender essential oil and I’m giving myself permission to goof off every chance I get.


We’re all weathering this time the best way we can but I’m surprised at the number of ladies on social media who are posting about their 7-day-old #dirtyhairdon’tcare and #nomakeupdon’tcare posts. This is so different from what I’m doing, it’s comical. Call me shallow, but I’m taking extra time with my makeup these days because:

  • I have more time to experiment
  • it’s fun and feels like play to me
  • catching my reflection looking washed out would not lift my spirits
  • it feels normal and I want to create as much normalcy as I can

I’m not wearing neutrals because they just feel blah to me. I pulled out my Jane Iredale Pure Moist Lipstick in Lucy and love it with this Zuzu Luxe Lip pencil in Fraise. My lipstick is running low and I am horrified to find it sold out most places! I hate when they discontinue favorites:( The color shown on Amazon looks like they linked the wrong color, but I ordered it anyway because I love it.

How about you? Do your routines help you stay balanced?

Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.







  1. Interesting comment about hair and makeup and the responses. I’m guilty of beginning to fall into that as well, though I don’t like that I’m allowing it to happen. I’ve pared back SO much on makeup that I don’t have much to experiment with but I agree that passing by the mirror with an unwashed face and uncombed hair is depressing! I have fine straight silver hair which is badly in need of a shaping. Since that’s not about to happen, I’m at a real loss to figure out what to do with it. The longer it gets the limper it gets! 🙁
    I’m going to do 30 minutes of a free Silver Sneakers workout on FB right now, and then I will head to the bathroom to spruce up Thank you for the mention of this, Jennifer – I needed that!

  2. Always look forward to your blog. We had a beautiful tiered garden at our old house but not at this one. Would love one now. My husband grew the best zucchini! I am making sure to shower, do my hair and makeup every day, just makes you feel normal in these abnormal times. I always wear earrings but that’s it. You look so cute with your jewelry on that I might rethink that. I really need some pull on jeans and more leggings! Stay safe!

  3. I really don’t understand why anyone would stop taking care of their physical self during this time, unless they are clinically depressed. I still shower every day, washing my hair every second one. Fortunately, I had my hair cut and highlighted just before we self isolated so I will be good for another month then I will need to get creative.
    I spent my time walking twice a day, tidying the house but more importantly, tending my gardens. I find it to be a relaxing, calming activity. The pandemic is far from my mind as I prune, weed, and relocate shrubs. It’s been mostly, beautiful weather on Vancouver Island so I haven’t felt cooped up.

    I’m not buying anything except the essentials – food & wine. Lots and lots of wine. 😉 Our stock portfolio took quite a hit so until it recovers I will not be making any major purchases. Another good reason to buy lots of wine.

    Keep the posts coming Jennifer! I enjoy reading them and the other comments. It’s a great little community you have built.

  4. Routines have changed, but one good thing is that I have started to wear lipstick around the house and even gardening. Yesterday I got out a fancy vintage necklace to wear just to make me smile. It is too cold to think about planting here, but I am getting everything ready. I have a rather large back yard that I hope to whip into shape this year. I am also wondering how the nurseries will handle the sales this year, are they essential….Oh yes they are to me. When I went for weekly grocery run, I picked up a hydrangea and cut tulips just because I want (need) more beauty around me. I enjoy reading all the comments as well as your fabulous posts. Feels like there is still lots of friends out there. Take care.

  5. Good morning from Kansas! I am trying to keep to a routine during this “lock down.” I do find that I’m getting up later in the morning. That’s wonderful! I shower, get dressed (including hair and makeup), do a little housework, and create a to do list for the day. It really lifts my spirits to feel I’ve accomplished something each day no matter how small.

    My husband and I are doing lots of walking and I find that my walks get a little longer each day. (Thankfully the weather is so much better now.). Planning a weekly menu has been a real help too. We’re wasting far less food and eating much more healthfully. (But I still can’t give up my Coke Zero)

    I really look forward to your blog, Jennifer. It starts my morning with a smile. It’s fun to hear how you are spending your days. Good luck with that vegetable garden!

    Prayers that everyone is staying safe and healthy during this trying time.

  6. Just got thanks, Jennifer!
    I do look forward to your sunny attitude!
    My hair is so sad! But I’m lucky that I love to cook and we’re finding new interesting healthy recipes. Walking here in Tennessee is beautiful this time of the year. Dogwoods and Redbuds!
    Peace everyone, stay well!

  7. I really enjoy reading your blog and learning about fashion! We were in quarantine for 14 days after returning from the US. Things haven’t changed much since being allowed out! Except we can get out for walks! Makeup, I haven’t been wearing much, but I get dressed everyday, go through my disinfecting routine, do a workout, and walk! We have a large garden but I would like to go bigger! We grow beets, carrots, potatoes, peas, beans etc. It is too early here in South Eastern, British Columbia to plant but my rhubarb is coming up so that makes me smile!

  8. Thank you for still sharing with us. I enjoy your posts and reading the comments of others. My husband and I winter in Scottsdale and have not yet headed home. Colorado has been struggling with Covid-19 more than Arizona, and our kids think we are better off where we are for now. That being said, I miss our home there. Where we are right now, we have no real yard to spend time in. I go on long walks almost every day, though, and find that that helps boost my spirit. I have taken advantage of online sales and picked up just a few things for spring. I think it’s important to maintain routines as much as possible and to look nice doing them. I definitely spend time in prayer for an end to this terrible pandemic. Love & prayers for all!

  9. I try to make an effort to dress comfy, but cute most days. My wardrobe has changed since retirement, but even when working – I was a teacher – I dressed pretty casually. I taught fashion & design so I always tried to dress with fashion in mind, and still do, although some (most) days I get dressed to putter around the house. Lol. Make up just makes me feel better, like you said, not washed out, so that is a daily must.
    I take at least one long walk -3 to 4 miles – a day, shower and get started with my day. Actually my days are not to dissimilar from before the lockdown. I’ve always had plenty of projects to keep me occupied around the house, so it’s not a struggle for me. I’ve broken out the sewing machine and am in the process of making masks – I’m thinking they will become a fashion trend -Jennifer, what do you think?
    Thank you for continuing your blog. As others have said it’s a daily go to for me.

    1. I’ve been making masks too for friends and relatives. I have a nice stash of cotton fabrics from my quilting days. I’m going to run out of elastic soon so I will have to figure out something else. Any ideas?

      1. To make ties, I cut 1 1/4” by 18” strip, iron in a bias tape type fold and fold in half and top stitch down the middle of the strip. Make 4 ties per mask

      2. If you have any old pantyhose, can cut strips across the leg (lengthwise strips will not roll as well) and use like elastic. Much more comfy on the ear too! My mom taught me that trick! Thanks mom!

      3. I’m out of elastic and just make ties instead, either self fabric (labor-intensive) or bias tape. I also hear shoe strings work too.

  10. Hi Jennifer,

    I do appreciate your blog. My husband and I are doing the best we can. Moved into a new house got settled then got locked down. We have been buying things for the house we seem to have a package or something at the door a couple times a week. California is doing well and people are using more masks. Weather is good here, although we had an earthquake the other day, never fun!

    Riding our bikes, calling people, usually a different person each day. Trying to stay in touch with our families and friends. We live in a 55 plus so people are out walking and riding bikes. Most of us wave to each other and are friendly.

    My husband cut my hair and I liked it. Good thing it grows fast! I have been cutting his hair for quite sometime. He has to do my roots next week…we will see how that goes!!

    I bought pants and a skirt the other day so waiting for that to arrive and bought a book to read too! get dressed everyday and put make up on…. We never know when we are going for a drive to nowhere!

    I love your blog, keep it up!

    Thanks Jennifer and God bless you and your family…

  11. Thanks for continuing your blog Jennifer- I look forward to reading it every day. I am currently in 14 day isolation due to returning to Canada from USA (there’s no differentiating which international country you are returning from!). Since I haven’t been able to leave my yard I have noticed that the days I take care with my outfits & makeup are my more productive days. Fortunately I have always been interested in fashion & makeup & am enjoying the extra time I have to experiment with what I have. Reading your blog & seeing pictures of how well you care for yourself is very uplifting.
    Stay safe everybody!

  12. I’ve always been a person of routine, but now that there is no urgency in my day, I find that I’m sleeping in longer and working out later. I still do what I need to, but I’ve slowed down considerably. I was taught how to cut my bangs and colour my hair years ago as my sister used to be a hairstylist, so I’m ok for the next month or so. It may be the summer by the time I can get a full haircut.
    As for gardening, I have’t grown vegetables in years, but I always have herbs growing and love going out to cut fresh thyme, rosemary, oregano and chives in the summer. Spring is starting here and my chive plants are already a few inches high.
    We’ve been told that the stay at home order may be in place till the end of June, and the list of essential businesses that can remain open has already been reduced and may be again. Parks and playgrounds have closed signs and barriers up in parking lots. Very strange to see.
    I’ve been doing “fantasy shopping” since I certainly won’t need any new spring clothes this year.
    Thanks for posting Jennifer – they are a bright spot in my day.

  13. Hello from Alabama. I too really enjoy reading your blog so please keep sharing! The kimono made me smile. My office has always been at home but I was rarely here . Glad to be home safe .
    My outfits are pretty simple unless I have to go out to see clients ..briefly and distanced. I will be going out much less now that our governor has finally closed our state. I am my husband’s caretaker so I must get what he needs. I am being very careful on one project today is to make some masks!
    A couple years ago I ordered three large raised bed kits. My husband enjoyed putting it together,planting and caring for the plants. Last year he was not able to get to the plants which are right next to our three step deck, so I followed his instructions. This year he’s back to it thanks to ongoing physical therapy!
    I had started with a personal trainer in Jan. and am continuing that now virtually twice a week. I also walk my two small dogs once or twice a day.
    Thank you for this blog. I do enjoy my coffee time with you every morning and love reading the comments and hearing what others are doing.

  14. Thank you for continuing your post. I look forward to it more than ever. I also appreciate that your content updates the same way that our lives are updating. I wanted to comment about my new makeup routine. My mother, who died earlier this year, and lived through the Great Depression and WWII always equated the wearing of lipstick and a feeling of positivity. Now that I am using Zoom meetings to teach my students and conduct faculty meetings I’ve rediscovered lipstick and what I’ll call “theater makeup.” Between poor lighting, bad camera work and stress, even celebrities are looking a little rough. (You look great by the way.). I always hated the way I looked in selfies and families videos. Makeup is making a big difference. Seeing a decent image of myself with good coloring and a brighter face makes me and those with whom I’m Zooming feel more optimistic.

  15. I never get dressed up to sit at home! It will be very hot here soon in Florida and I usually wear linen tops when I go out to shop. They wrinkle too much to wear at home!

  16. Like you I get dressed as I would to go out every day. Often it’s well after I work out be it happens. Helps keep my spirits up.

    I have about 100 sq ft vege and herb garden. The thyme, oregano and mint plants are years old. Some Swiss chard wintered over and is producing. Tomatoes, Japanese eggplant and poblano peppers are just getting going here in the hill country of Texas. Gardening used to be a hobby but now it feels more like insurance.

  17. We have a large garden, which we love. We love to plan it, my husband plants it, I weed it… I cook up the harvest. We have tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes, yellow and red bell peppers, eggplant, lettuce. We can’t plant until Memorial Day (we are in New Hampshire), but we can plan for now.
    In the morningI love reading the blogs of those I follow. Now that I work from home, I read these first thing in the morning before I sit down at the computer to work for the day.
    I am wearing work-out clothes. My students only see my head and shoulders on zoom, so I only have to dress on top haha! I have never worn much make-up, but now even less.
    Please keep blogging. I love that you see the comments as a community. Good morning to everyone!

  18. Good Morning and thanks for the start Jennifer. Like the lady above me, I’ve added 2 miles of walking everyday. I take mine at all different times in the day though because I am working from home (aren’t most of us?) and i need a break at different times. I’ve done it since this whole thing started with diligence, rain, shine, sleet, doesn’t matter. That fresh air keeps my spirits lifting, and being “out” , even if away from others feels good. My dear hubby joins me and that makes it less lonely. I also wake up every morning and put on my make-up, and dress (yes, much more casually), but i don’t feel “ready” it i don’t. My bangs are getting soooo long that i’m tempted to cut them, but i think for now I’m resorting to headbands, clips, and trying other looks. For me “creating something” helps as well, so daily I do that, make and send a card, do a scrapbook page, make COVID19 care packages, candy bouquets for Easter, things I can “porch drop” to others to make them smile. I have NOT increased TV time, I just can’t handle that and it’s never been an escape for me. Hope these brought a few ideas. Yes, don’t stop blogging. Yeah, maybe we’re not all trying to consume as much stuff, but it’s good to have ideas of repurposing what we have. OH, I’m also doing a huge vegetable garden this year. I was giggling when i read you are too, I think it makes me feel a little less dependent on the store, but also to have something growing before our eyes is evidence that life goes on regardless how we choose to react. I choose to stay calm most days and keep repeating to myself, “this is just for a time”. I work closely with co-workers in China, and now 3 months later they are returning to some kind of normal, wearing masks all day everyday at work, but “going” to work, and restaurants are starting to re-open. Amy

  19. I am with you! I saw myself slipping into don’t care and it was taking my mental health with it! I am back to workout in the morning, hair and makeup. My husband thinks I am dressing nice for him since some days he is the only person I see. Shh don’t tell him it is for me. This can be just between us!

  20. Greetings from Indiana farm country. I really enjoy your posts and love hearing what is going on outside of my own home. My credit card has gotten a lot of use while staying safe at home so I have new clothes but nowhere to wear them. So I shower and do my hair every day and play around with styling new outfits with my purchases. I have never worn makeup, but I do love pampering my skin. I’ve done some face masks, used a foot mask and then put fresh polish on my toes, soaked off my acrylic nails to allow my natural nails to breathe for a while, and I may experiment with a self tanner (don’t usually bother doing this but may give it a try…who’s going to see if I get it all streaked and messed up?) Sharing recipes might be fun to do while we are all home staying safe and doing more cooking. Just a thought. Have a great week everyone.

  21. Thankyou for sharing a little glimpse into your daily routine. I look forward to reading your posts and the comments of all the amazing ladies following your blog!
    Routine is definitely a big deal for me. It does help maintain some sort of normalcy. I take time every day for my makeup and hair routine. I make my bed every day. I try to plan healthy meals every day. Taking time to do these little things with care makes me feel in control of part of my life in a time of uncertainty.
    I am doing a paint by number and yesterday I sewed several face masks!!
    Stay strong!

  22. Im definitely reaching out to family and friends more right now. We have surging numbers this past week, and we’re a very small state! We pay attention to our state health officials! We abide by the rules but so many do not. It’s pretty sad. We are under a Stay Home order, but our governor has had to close beach parking areas as people crowded there the past weekends and did not follow guidelines. Videos posted showed her this was true. So now, unless you walk there you can it visit our local beaches or parks. I’ve been walking our neighborhood streets, roads and wooded paths.
    For make up? Minimal. Hair roots are out. Hair needs a good shaping and thinning. Bushy…I have no knack in blow drying. I feel generally blah, but I’m clean! Lol. Ps lettuce is planted. Tulips are out!

  23. My phone gives me a weekly update on my screentime. No surprise–it is up A LOT! I am reading books online, listening to podcasts, doing online puzzles, Facetiming with family and friends…
    I don’t want to scare anyone with these calls, so I have been making some effort on my appearance.
    I wish our weather here in Ontario was better for gardening but Spring’s arrival has been slow. Good luck with the vegetables, Jennifer! need to find a place that will home deliver spring flowers and potting soil…
    Love your posts–thank you for keeping in touch!

    1. I love your comment about the increased screen time- well, yeah! My phone admonished me the other day, too. I wanted to tell my phone to stuff it! Lol!

      1. My phone screen time doubled last week. But it doesn’t know I’m also reading on iPad and laptop! Shhh…

  24. Love, love love the kimono 😊. I’m going to wear one of mine today! Thanks for the inspiration. I’m definitely in your camp, Jennifer. I’m dressing, casual, but chic, and putting on makeup, jewelry and perfume every day. It helps me feel normal + right now. Gosh, I think if I stayed in my jammies or sweats every day and didn’t take a shower, I’d just slide into a dark hole of boredom. Thanks for sharing the pictures of yourself….it’s so nice to see your smiling face!

  25. Yes, me too! I’m trying to wake up at the same time every morning, walk the dogs, make up my bed, make the coffee, drink the coffee while reading my Bible. Didn’t mean to write down my routine! And I’m putting on makeup, it may not be much but it makes me feel better. I enjoy your blog posts, we’ll get through this ❤️

  26. Good Morning Beautiful Jennifer!
    I just want to thank you for your WONDERFUL daily blogs because they brighten my day! I LOVE all your tips and info on fashion, makeup and every day life!
    Lots of love to you!💗
    Have a BEAUTIFUL day!🌸🌷🌼

  27. We are encouraged to check with friends and family during this time (should do it all the time!!) and it seems maybe a bit shallow to talk about the fun stuff that makes living worthwhile. It’s fun to have this opening with this you and the group to talk about fashion, food, interests beyond the post mortem of the latest news. I will say it is nice to see a periodic piece from you during the day, Jennifer. Might be a question or a thought you’ve had. A great opportunity to refocus!! Right now really going to only 10% of wardrobe – yikes!!! Hang in with us please!!!

    1. I enjoy looking forward to reading your blog each morning. It’s one of the few things that remain consistent in my life. My son and daughter in-law are doctors and working extensive hour at the hospital. We are babysitting their 2 and 4 yr olds 24/7. It’s a difficult time for everyone in the world and prayers to all.

  28. I alter wedding dresses out of my home. It’s a sad and stressful time as brides are having to postpone or cancel weddings. I have shut down my home to clients coming in for fittings. I have plenty of dresses pinned and custom dresses ordered to keep me busy, but I miss the interaction with my clients. I’m working out longer each day, getting dressed and putting makeup on each day, cooking more and making masks for my family members. We have four married boys and nine grandkids. FaceTime and zoom have become lifesavers. My husband recently bought us a raised garden and I’m so looking forward to planting it, if it ever warms up! We will plant herbs, tomatoes, peppers and maybe a few beans. Can’t wait!

  29. To maintain my sanity these days, I walk 2 miles every morning, then come home and shower. I make my bed and dress as if someone might see me, makeup too. I have colored my hair out of a box, first time in 40+ years. I had my gel nail polish removed before we locked down, so I haven’t had a manicure in weeks. Probably healthy for my nails to remain naked for a while. Please keep blogging. Your posts give me a lift.

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